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Fri Oct 31 02:04:44 SAST 2014

Mandela granddaughters hit the TV screen

ANDILE NDLOVU | 30 September, 2011 00:18
Three of former president Nelson Mandela's granddaughters are planning their own TV reality show. They are Swati Dlamini, Zaziwe Dlamini-Manaway and Dorothy Adjoa Amuah, pictured with American producer Rick Leed at the announcement of their plans. •Picture: LUNGELO MBULWANA

Three of former president Nelson Mandela's granddaughters are ready to hit the small screen with their own reality show.

And, take note Nonhle Thema, they have a hot production team, too.

The still-to-be titled show, expected to premiere early next year, will take viewers into the fabulously glamorous lives of Zaziwe Dlamini-Manaway, 34, Swati Dlamini, 32 (both Zenani Mandela's daughters), and 27-year-old Dorothy Adjoa Amuah (Maki Mandela's daughter).

It has been emphasised, though, that the series will not be about the Mandela family but about the trio.

Neither Mandela nor his wife Graca will feature in the series.

American producer Rick Leed, best known for the hit reality show Dr 90210 - focusing on plastic surgery for the ludicrously rich of Beverly Hills, Los Angeles - has been roped in to work with South African director Graeme Swanepoel to produce the show . It is hoped that the show will be syndicated in the US and other countries.

There has reportedly been "tremendous interest" in the project by broadcasters internationally and locally.

Swanepoel has directed most of the reality shows making waves on DStv's Vuzu channel, including Running With the Reps, Vixens and Cream Cartel.

The trio, who said they were not the "African Kardashians", grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, in the US, but were ready to show the world that South Africa was not "about wild animals on the road".

The youngest of the girls, Adjoa Amuah, was quick to stress that the Mandela name would not be tarnished because the show would be "dignified" and "not trashy".

Leed said he was convinced that he should work on the show after meeting the young women earlier this year.

"They' re not into trash TV. They want something with dignity and this show will show authentic and modern South African women.

"The bond between them was immediately clear, too. So, they're not just sisters but friends."

Adjoa Amuah said: "By no means are we representatives of the Mandela family, but our family is so intertwined that you will see some of them in it."

Zaziwe said her husband, American businessman David Manaway, whom she met while she was studying psychology at Clark Atlanta University, did not want to be part of the show "but that's because he didn't believe it would get this far".

Shooting is expected to begin before the end of the year.

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